Tuesday, August 29, 2017

TOP STORY >> Hwy. 67/167 will narrow for widening

Leader senior staff writer

Local officials are concerned that the imminent narrowing and shifting of lanes on Hwy. 67/167 between the Vandenberg Boulevard exit in Jacksonville and Hwy. 5 at Cabot could create a safety problem if and when accidents or incidents occur on the highway, Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert wrote Dist. 6 Transportation Engineer Mark Headley.


“They are planning on a major lane shift this week, with, at least as of this morning, no notification to the public with alternate routes,” Cypert wrote.

The plan is to shift both northbound and southbound lanes beginning Wednesday night with barriers inbetween, part of the plan to widen the highway from four lanes each direction to six lanes.

“The resulting number of travel lanes after the shift will be the same,” Headley wrote in a press release. “There should be no increased congestion, and it should not affect (Razorback) game day traffic the next day.”


Cypert had expressed concern that weather, the Razorbacks game Thursday evening at War Memorial Stadium and congestion could clog the highway, making it difficult for emergency vehicles to reach the scene of highway accidents.

Both Cypert and Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher said they feared that emergency vehicles would have to travel the wrong way down the highway to reach the site of an accident.


The left lane of northbound Hwy. 67/167 will be closed daily between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Wednesday to probably through Sept. 9, weather permitting, Transportation Department spokesman Danny Straessle said Tuesday. Traffic will be controlled with signs and barrels.

The northbound lanes were shifted to temporary pavement Aug. 10 to allow for the southbound shift.

The left lane of southbound Hwy. 67/167 also will be closed from 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Wednesday until about Sept. 9, he added, again weather permitting. Traffic will be controlled using signage and barrels.

Diversion of southbound lanes into lanes normally used by northbound traffic could continue until early next year, he said.


Work will cause intermittent and alternate closing on the frontage roads, T.P. White Drive and John Harden Drive, until further notice, Straessle said. Traffic will be reduced to one open lane at time and controlled with flagging operations.

The temporary Hwy. 67/167 lane shifts will redirect traffic through two 12-foot lanes north and two south, bounded by concrete walls, said Fletcher. He suggested motorists consider alternate routes.

The widening 4.6 miles of Hwy. 67/167 from state Hwy. 5 in Cabot to the Vandenberg interchange will cost $79.2 million.

Drivers should exercise caution when approaching and traveling through all highway work zones.